Postseason Burning, Food Plots and Summer Work

Show Notes

In this episode, Jon Teater (Whitetail Landscapes) and Mark Haslam (Southeast Whitetail) discuss the impacts of fire from this past season. Mark and Jon discuss rain and drought concerns in each of their areas and the impact to food plots. Mark discusses burning in detail, when he burned, how large of an area and what conditions he prefers to burn areas. Mark explains the benefits of burning in the dormant season versus spring, and when he would prefer to burn but the dependence on the land use and prior management and the related impacts of our localized plants.

Mark and Jon discuss the growing season burn and the benefit to wildlife. Mark explains and relates the importance of summer burns to deer health. Jon suggests working the entire landscape to optimize interest and taking soil samples in areas that are managed for deer. Mark explains the importance of perennial food plots in his routine. Mark and Jon discuss oats and their importance in food plot regimes.

Mark explains what he is doing at the end of May and June. How he focuses on longer term nutrition with his food plots and ensuring deer remain consistent on his property. Mark explains the benefits of roads, firebreaks, and scouting. Mark believes disced roadways and trails can be essential to access. Mark and Jon discuss disc harrows and how important they are for land management. Mark and Jon discuss some of the differences between the north and south.

Mark explains his tactics for planning ahead for target deer this year and his plan of action for the season ahead. Mark describes the work involved with trail cameras and how he has stepped back from focusing extremely hard on a specific buck. Mark ends with things you can do right now to prepare for hunting season to have a better overall plan.

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Show Transcript

Jon Teater: Hi, I'm John Teeter at Wait Till Landscapes. This is Maximizer Hunt. Welcome back everybody. I have been on the road, I am back in the office and I am working and I had a consulting visit today and it was quite interesting. Different eco region, different complexities, different com, culture.

A lot of the things that I'm dealing with, I have standard kind of practices, but what I recognize is when you're working in different eco regions, You set [00:01:00] into the tone of how people think and work, and you've gotta work off their infrastructure. One of the things I paid attention to with this last client is thinking about.

Not just the lowest hole in the bucket, the changes he can make, but what opportunities do we have to work with a Forester or any type of land management company in his particular region that would help him reduce the volume of work? A lot of times we get into these big projects and I'd say the same of my own property.

What I don't have the tools, right? I don't have the skidder, I don't have the dozer. If you don't have the equipment, you're gonna have to leverage other resources. And it's thinking more about your infrastructure, your local economy, and what you can leverage. And it's thinking more in-depthly about what your resources are financially.

How can you pay for these? What offices do you have? So one thing I would say is before you get into your projects, and you've got time hunting seasons around the corner for some of us, but you've got time to. You'll make some improvements, fast improvements. I'm saving a couple weekends here coming up where I'm gonna cut some timber on my own property, continue [00:02:00] to do my layout, strategize for hunting season.

I suggested you the same. And we're gonna talk. I have a guest back on here, mark Haslem. He's back from the southeast whitetail. And we're gonna talk a little bit about his eco region, what he's working on, what his clients have been working on, et cetera. So I'm interested in, happy to have him back on the line.

Hey Mark, how you doing?

Mark Haslam: Good. John's doing well.

Jon Teater: Good. How are you? Good, good. I'm it's a great day today in upstate New York. So I'm pretty happy. We just had a good little rainstorm come through. It had been dry. It's gonna be dry here for the next week or so, so my food plot's kind of needed that and I think a lot of people are worried about drought at least this time of year, which is strange because in years past that hasn't been something I've paid too much attention to.

We usually have had adequate rain, but. We're getting these ballots of week and a half, no rain. And in our areas things dry out pretty quick. That may not be the same in your area, just something that we're not used to. Yeah,

Mark Haslam: We've actually had a lot of rain the past, probably month across the southeast [00:03:00] and there's a lot of rain in our area.

This weekend for. Memorial Day, which is unfortunate, but it's fortunate for the people that have seen the

Jon Teater: ground. Yeah, I was actually down, I was in North Carolina and I wasn't consulting. I was down there for a wedding at a buddy's wedding, and I was, I was just impressed with the amount of moisture that they were dealing with down there.

And it seemed every other day, they had a chance of rain. We just don't have the same situation here in the northeast. I wanted to get into, and it's been a bit since you've been online with me and we've chatted. I wanna get into, this, you put a lot of content out there related to burning habitat management, how you're managing your own property as well as your clients.

And I'm interested in. What you've experienced, at least post-fire. You've done a lot of, I've seen a lot of fire posting online where you've done a lot of burning layout. I know it's a big part of your regime. I wanna know, how many acres this year did you burn on your own personal property?

[00:04:00] And then vice that, like what did you experience as a result of that? What changes, how are the deer utilizing those areas, et cetera. So if you could dig into that I'd appreciate it. Sure. Yeah.

Mark Haslam: We At my farm, we probably burned somewhere between 150 and 200 acres this year. And that number fluctuates every year.

And it's really a product. Mostly it's a product of our time, but it really comes outta rainfall. Exactly what you said a minute ago is that, A lot of times, like we get so much rain in our ground, so saturated in January, February that a lot of where we want to burn doesn't dry out enough to actually get a good fire rolling through until March or April.

But we burned a good bid starting mid late March and going through pretty much the entire month, April.

Jon Teater: Interesting. Yeah. And I think having that interval. And did you experience any differences with burning later or [00:05:00] earlier in those regions? Have you had like side-by-side comparisons to say, okay burning a little bit earlier, a little bit later?

There's a difference, at least from timing, the related vegetation obviously delay, obviously you're not gonna have as much vegetation. And are you doing that purposely in some capacity, at least for maybe turkeys or deer for that matter? Yeah,

Mark Haslam: I would like to tie my, tie, my burns.

In a perfect world, I could have 'em all laid out, but we're so dependent on our own schedule or equipment breaking down when you're there to actually do it. Or, we've gotta, be under the right conditions to actually light a match on the ground. And then rainfall too. But go back to your question about burning.

Timing of burning and what you can create. Yes. You, if you burn in the d dormant season, you're gonna get a lot more early successional growth. And then, later you burn spring you might get a little more maybe grass is coming in. And then [00:06:00] late summer, early fall is when you can really produce a lot of Forbes.

There is a lot of, there's a lot of different timelines there, but a lot of it depends on your particular native seed bank in, on your property. If you were to line a match and Verne, let's just pick any state in the southeast, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, whatever it is.

And if you were to pick. Let's say 10 different tracks land across the entire state and you burned the same days, you're not gonna get the same results. You're not gonna get the same plans growing at all 10 of those tracks. If you burned the same Quan, let's just assume it was the same day. And you had the same post rainfall and you had the same basil area, you're going to get different native, seeds germinating.

So for instance, I put up one video maybe a week or two ago. Where I got a [00:07:00] ton of muscadine vine growing from a burn two years ago. A ton of it, and a lot of blackberries. In that particular piece of the farm, that's what I'm generating. We burned that same timeframe, another place, and we might, we might generate more ragweed, for instance.

So it, it's, I think sometimes if people do get caught up in if you burn in the dormant season, you're gonna get this burn. Late spring. Late spring, you're gonna this. And it's you definitely can, but the specific plants are gonna come up. That's something like, what, I hear you talk about too is just, p paying attention, watching what comes up.

If you don't know the plant's Id, 'em, there's some great plant identification apps, ID 'em watch 'em figure out. Get the wildlife, utilize 'em and if they do, if they do eat it, then actually watch that, those areas to see if they really are. Browsing on them or waiting for the berries to [00:08:00] develop, or, just paying attention to how the wildlife utilized those areas.

Jon Teater: Yeah. I love everything you said there, and I love how you broke it down into Yes, this, but that, and then in these instances it's a watch and see kind of thing because I don't prescribe to, we have. A full understanding of the outcome of anything we're doing at any point, and I'm not saying we're tripping through this process.

It's a tool you're utilizing it, it ha it allows you to take a large amount of space and manage it. And at the same point, the outcome, although some may be known based on past experiences, it's still a question mark. And I kinda like that. Now you mentioned burning during the growing season.

And, mid-summer, is that even feasible o other than using herbicide burn downs and then, then is that even possible in your area?

Mark Haslam: It that depends on who you ask. Just in general, who you ask about burning. Burning the land just in [00:09:00] general, not even a timeframe. A lot, a lot of people say it's just not really feasible because there's, there's a, there's been a definitely been a big pushback in wildlife fires and misunderstandings.

So a lot of people aren't really for fire anyways, but the people that do control. Burns, prescribed fire, all that. Typically they're doing it dormant season all the way up until like early summer. And there's a very few amount of people that even want to attempt it or like doing it late summer, early fall.

Fall. So yes you will produce a different type of species, plant, more Forbes, and you can get rid of a lot of the grasses. So a lot of the grasses you're gonna. You're gonna produce with, with a dormant season and spring burns, early fall. I, we've, it's, those are extremely tricky.

And it's mostly the heat. Yeah, some of these fires, as you can imagine, if someone hasn't done one, even [00:10:00] in, even if it's 70 degrees, those fires can get very hot. It just depends on, Is it a back burn? Are you just running it through fast or really the fuel, if it's just pine straw, it's gonna burn.

Burn nice and slow, not that hot. But if you have a lot of debris or if you have a lot of years built up of fuel compounding with sticks and vines and stuff, that can get pretty hot. I am hoping that we are going to do a burn This. Early August at the Deer Steward two course. This is gonna be at our farm there.

I think Craig Harper typically likes to burn a section, so that's the plan right now. Hopefully we have some good weather conditions.

Jon Teater: I think that's great. You guys are having the steward course on your property, and I did see that. I think this whole. Concept of warm season burning is something that is completely overlooked.

But to that point that you just made it, it is difficult to do. It's, it could be hard to [00:11:00] manage and the outcome is, yeah, to the benefit of the deer herd. But there is obviously complications with that and I think that's important that you described that because very rarely do you even hear anybody talk about that.

As a method and there's a little bit of a madness to that as well. It's just thinking through that, like in the northeast specifically, my experience and not in New York specifically, but it's one of the best times, at least the mo op, most opportune times, assuming you've had long periods of drought.

That brings in a totally different perspective from those that. At least are considering that. And then obviously the concern, at least with setting forest fires, et cetera. There, there's a lot of, concern a across the board. But that's the way that the landscapes were managed years ago.

Years and years ago. And that's why we have all these watch towers, fire watch towers in these areas because of the concern in that life. But that's why nature did what it did because it was the time to reset and the wildlife [00:12:00] would benefit in that capacity and great abundance. It was, the timing into that would lead.

These maybe smaller populations into a he healthier, let's say fall. And the outcome was great come spring. So it's funny thinking about that in reverse, where that was, not dominating, but it happened in a frequency and occurrence, which is far greater than today.

And I, I think a lot of people miss out on that. So I would say for those of you that are considering this, The, this method, that the mark's bringing up, think through it and think through the benefits and you can experiment small scale, so it doesn't become a danger, you don't have to let off a hundred acres.

It could be, a half an acre, something of that size. Maybe scale it so you feel that, safety factors in play and. Allows you to see just what ends up propagating on the landscape great point. The other thing I see you on Instagram on is you're running your no-till drill all over the place.

So you must have been planting a lot of crops recently, and I want to hear more about that, what's been going on there?

Mark Haslam: Y I, yeah, I, if I [00:13:00] can mention one more thing about fire. Sure. It was actually a question. I think you asked earlier about going back timing of fire and then how it can, wildlife can benefit.

So let's just take Whitetails for instance. Just real quickly, deer when they're browsing out in the woods on that early successional growth, it's, they're, When they eat blackberries, for instance, they're snipping off that young tender growth that's coming up the top.

So if you were to burn the same time every year, let's say January, February, come summertime those plants are up and there might not be browsing on 'em anymore. And so I had a conversation with Dr. Marcus Lashley from University of Florida. Yep. And he was saying just the, like our stress period is the summertime and so if you burn January, February, there, a lot of those benefits from the fire goes away by the summertime, and that's why.

Like what you said, to your point about how this was nature's way of routine fires throughout the [00:14:00] year, and that's why fires through the summer and early fall are great because, we think about antler growth and every hunter knows when that is. And we think we gotta do all this stuff.

Or antler growth was true. I'm not knocking. I'm not. But that's one piece of the puzzle. But you also have inning of gestation period right now, and you, and then you go right in a lactation. So like right now you got the stress, the summer, the heat, and those dough need that nutrition to produce the best quality milk.

And, a lot of summertime crops like farming, like commercial crops might not be up. And they might not be up, right now when the fonts are hitting the ground. And then you roll right into early fall. You've got the rut, you've got dough breeding being chased, and also ru also raising a family.

So there's just, I just wanna add that one piece to it. That's your point. Yes. These deer needs, need nutrition. And that's, it is very similar to why people have perennial and annual food plot. So you have that [00:15:00] seamless. Or you're hoping for a seamless transition of food plots

Jon Teater: for wildlife and I think that last point, at least the food plot piece of it is huge because, I can just, I'm sure the client's gonna listen us today, the one client that I had the meeting with today, we were describing this layout and I said, you have to have, that staple standard food source in that food plot specific for interest.

But beyond that, you're talking about the nutritional benefit. Now I'm in complete agreement with you. So my question now back is thinking through this, we talked about intervals of burning. And the sequencing of that and the variance that we're gonna experience. One of the things that I go in and I caught recently with another consultant and we were strategizing how we manage, woodlots and thinking about deer's microbiome and why they consume this plant for stat and thinking just about the benefit.

And you talked about timing with, the blackberry and how in. Important, that is thinking about the shoots and when they consume that, and then when it gets to a point where it's not edible and then [00:16:00] you can recreate that circumstance. Like one of the things I, again, I think people don't pay attention to this, is, when you're cutting off grasses, like oats is a good example, you can reset the oats.

And then it'll continue to grow. It can mow it like your grass. It's got a, basically a survival period. At some point it'll end up seeding out or it'll get exhausted from continuing mowing. But obviously at some point in each individual plant, it's gonna have a preference point. And I think you brought up this point of dialing in to the preference point of that individualistic plant.

And diagnosing it when that is. There's also the alternative to thinking about how to artificially recreate that, and mowing is one of those examples. Do not put away your mowers. I love flail mowers. I think that's a good thing. And you could be resetting bushes, grasses like I just suggested, or other plant life, shrubbery, et cetera.

So it's thinking about how to recreate that. The one thing I want to add, I'm going on a ramp, but I want to add is thinking about the nutrient levels, macro micros of your landscape, and [00:17:00] again, those are the food sources that create more bountifulness or plentiful of those shrubbery, those shrubs, et cetera.

Those plants, like a lot of our I think I've said this before, you said a prior podcast. I'm looking at two levels, sodium and phosphorus. And there's no reason you can't take, those measurements from whatever your, local lab is or. I use Logan Labs or whatever your soil, your testing laboratory is ward, whatever, looking at different areas of your landscape to look at these deficiencies and applying broad spectrum foli or burning or doing something to just, disrupt those environments.

But trying to think about the replenish of, what you can do in the landscape and there's. There's bio inoculants or I'm using foliar at this point, that you can apply directly to those particular plants to replenish those nutrients to make them more palatable for the deer. So if you don't wanna burn, there's another option for you.

And thinking more, holistically, but to Mark's point, I think [00:18:00] these staple food plots is a big deal. Sorry, mark, I was just thinking about a bunch of things that were on my mind today, but I got a question for you. So when you go into the, This is my inexperience with the south.

So when you go into kind of those early spring periods, your green ups way earlier, and you're. We're planning winter hardy plants that are gonna basically either biannuals, what have you, they come back in the spring months. What are you trying to focus in on for your deer herd That's like inexpensive, a staple.

Maybe it's got a perennial aspect to it. What are you pulling into your perennial food plot into that season? That early season for this, gestation period that we identified. And then obviously, we've got the lactation. What are your like staple food plot options for.

For you.

Mark Haslam: We do a lot of we'll do winter wheat. Okay. And we actually do a lot of naked oats. Na naked oats are you can get those very cheap, as low as. Five $9 a bushel and if you want to, you can even harvest a seed and, [00:19:00] for next year. But those are really pretty, pretty inexpensive.

And we might do, might mix in like radish, turn ups and rape, something like that. The problem with those three plots, one naked oats are phenomenal. For a quail and turkeys, but at some point you're going to be ha you're gonna have your warm season crops going to the ground, so you're gonna have to kill 'em, spray 'em and then, prep for your warm season.

Unless you just want to let it ride out. But we typically will just rotate. Cool and warm season, big plots. And we do have some clover in the ground. But we do go heavy on our warm season and cool season. So right now, like you say, we, I've been getting a lot of warm season annuals in the ground.

Jon Teater: It's funny you bring up the term naked oats. We don't, I'm not familiar with naked oats. I'm assuming that's A variety that may be haul us or I don't I don't even know what Naked Oats actually is. Can you explain a little [00:20:00] bit about that variety? Is it a bread variety that's slightly different.

Mark Haslam: The, yeah. They will, deer will eat the the early growth. The sprout, the shoot coming up, they'll eat that. They'll browse on that for a couple months. So we usually get down in the ground sometime in anywhere from October to early December. December's getting a little late.

And they'll feed on that through the end of deer season. Going into January and at some point when we started to get a little sunshine and things are growing, well in the spring they get a lot taller. They start to seed out in deer, but by the time the seeds are being in production, they're not eating on it.

But then it rotates in a lot more birds. And at that point, The oats will have some height to 'em and we get a lot of insects in the fields. So the insects are grape, turkeys quail, and then of course you've got the seed head. But yeah, it's a very inexpensive way of getting [00:21:00] some type of cover crop on the ground.

A lot of farmers, they don't really mind it, it doesn't really do a whole lot to the soil. So we'll even go in on top of the Our least ag fields to farmers and just drilling in or just top sell it because it's so pretty in pretty inexpensive.

Jon Teater: Yeah, that's interesting. I appreciate that. And certain we don't use here in the north that's new to me.

Okay. So I wanna go to the next phase of this. So you're putting in all your, warm season, and then we're starting to think about this June period coming up, right? We're nearing June. What are you doing on your personal property to prepare for season? Because September isn't that far away.

And in preparation for hunting season what's on your docket. And also I want you to, for clients and et cetera, think about, what others should be doing or preparing for. So what are you doing and what should people be doing on the landscape in the south [00:22:00] coming up?

Mark Haslam: So right now what I'm doing on my farm is I'm trying to get all my seed in the ground.

We've had a ton of rain like I mentioned earlier, which has been great in one way, but I've got some fields that I got rained out last week and there was just, I started playing soybeans last week and all of a sudden I was producing wake. In my tractor, there was just so much standing.

It was just way too much water. And a lot of those fields are a little bit lower, which is great soil, but the ground's too wet. And so there is something, the ground can be too wet. Hopefully we won't be in a situation where sometimes we get a ton of rain, saturated dirt, and then it dries up and it doesn't keep raining and it dries up and it's just rock hard.

And you can't go into plan after that. But so we're getting all seed in the ground, which, some people will plant food plots early fall, which you can do. What you have to understand [00:23:00] is that if it's a warm season, annual, and you plan an early fall, A lot of people do it with, when they have later deer seasons.

Like for instance, Georgia, their rifle season doesn't open until the second or third week in October, so they might start planting some warm season annuals early fall. But those plants are gonna have a very short lifespan cuz they're gonna die at the first frost, which is usually around our area.

The first week in November. So that's not a very long window. So that kind of was, it's fine. People do that, those are, you might, those might be more of kill plots or hunting plots to where You are eating 'em and you're tracking 'em in so you can try to hunt them, but they're not really getting they're not getting the all the bang for the buck.

If you're planting soybeans for instance or something with high protein. And that's why if you are trying to do that kind of program, it's good to do it early on when you can do it in the spring. That [00:24:00] way the wildlife are consuming that protein and that nutrition for the longest period of time that they can.

And then as, as far as what else we're doing, right now, like we were talking before we started recording that it's almost June. And so for me, like June isn't, it's not, the 11th hour, but come June, someone should really have a. Plans for that upcoming season? You meaning deer stands?

Do they need to move any do they need to shift any permanent stands around? Cause over time you do need to, cuz deer will catch on. Do you need to, create trails or, anything like that? Major trimming, start to plan that out so that it's not last minute, so that you can get that done.

With your timeframe on your own time and it not be rushed, and then you can have a little window kind of cushion [00:25:00] from when you're stopping most of the work and then you're starting the actual hunting season. One thing I've been stressing to people it's very simple. People can do. It's simple that you have access to a harrow, a disc harrow, and you can get 'em, obviously for a tractor.

But you can even get 'em for the back of a pickup truck or a ATV four wheeler, even if you're not gonna burn. Fire breaks are so incredible to have. One is to protect your investment, over the summer. Places get dry. Cigarette butts. There's a lot of, air and fires that can happen.

Coming from roads, so it is always good to have a fire break for protection for your investment. But also, I love fire, I love firebreaks everywhere because that, that, that's one of my best scouting methods, like Turkey season, deer season. If you maintain the fire breaks, they're gonna be heavy on darts.

Now it, depending on where, when you disk, you might even get a lot of early successional growth[00:26:00] if you disk in the dormant season. But, The scouting, the real time scouting you can get from tracks. To me, it's just priceless.

Jon Teater: So love that. I love that man.

Mark Haslam: Yeah. Yeah. And I know like you might have a ton of rain and then you can't see the tracks.

Guess what? You know when the rain is, you show up and then you know, you can really pinpoint when those track like how fresh they are sometimes based on rain. And there's so many different, they can, you can start to learn tire, tire tracks. Learn, your hunting buddies or your forester.

That way have a poster on the property. There's just a lot of things you can see. With keeping I, now I do not suggest all your robes. You don't wanna disc up all your robes so that you, so they, don't become bogs when it rains. But just, you can disk alongside a roads, just take one side, or both sides, and I'll also love to cr to disk.

And you create those dirt fire breaks going in the stance. So that she [00:27:00] can slip into 'em so you're not stepping on pine straw and sticks and dry leaves, but it's, you got dirt. That, that's about as quiet as you can get.

Jon Teater: Yeah. I like that idea. I like it for a lot of reasons.

And obviously that's helping you out come burn season as well, for the following fall or, whenever you're deciding to do any work. And let me ask you this question and I think looking broad scale, and I think a lot of people wanna know I know we're talking a big property, right?

This is a large property we've already talked about in the past. If you haven't listened to those podcasts, please listen to Mark and I on those. How much percentage of food plots are you planning across your landscape? And then I want to know that the acreage approximately. So how much is your large acreage planted just for dedicated food plots on your property?

Mark Haslam: We're probably planning, it's probably close to 50 acres, roughly. Okay. Yeah. And it can and it varies. But that's usually what we're planning like in the spring and summer. For instance, [00:28:00] but some of our smaller food plots, which a lot of those smaller ones are like a quarter acre, half acre, a lot of those were all like former loading decks.

Where past, timber sites, they cut 'em out to load the trucks up, drag the trees, load 'em up, will weave, clean them up and turn 'em into like small little fields. Some of those fields, if they're that small I don't plant in warm season, soybeans or sun, hemp or whatever it is, because the deer just wipe 'em out.

If sometimes, if you like, if someone's listening and if they're in a high density area, they have a lot of deer. And they plant soybeans on a quarter acre food plot, they're gonna be probably wiped out to where they're never even gonna produce bean pots cuz they're gonna be sniffed off early on is kill the plant.

A lot of my food plot strategies goes into the neighborhood, so to speak. Meaning what are the farmers planting? Because when they go heavy on cotton, for instance, I notice a big difference in how much pressure they put [00:29:00] on my food plots, but when they go more on soybeans and corn and peanuts, a lot of times my food plots have a lot of extra breeding room to, to grow and to get browse tolerant before they start shifting outta the A fields and more of the food

Jon Teater: plots.

Yeah, and that's good. And then the other question I want to ask you is, we talked about the Dis HARO as an example in your specific circumstance. What size of a ho are you running and what are the size of your trails that you're putting in place? Like how wide are they?

Mark Haslam: A lot of these trails, fire breaks are just one tractor, they're length wide.

Okay. So maybe, maybe six feet. It's not really if you are really gonna, if you're really cutting a fire break for fire purposes, Ideally you would want to, two, at least two tractor to width wide. So most of our fireworks are actually ro like the size of a road.

Okay. Yeah, but some of the trails I referenced, like if it's a trail going to in, into a [00:30:00] stand, then I, that just might be, that might be my tractor s snacking through trees just to cut something in it, it might be very tight. Yeah. But It's, it gets a job done.

Jon Teater: Yeah. No, I just, I think people wonder what, what equipment you're using in those circumstances and, I recommend everybody have harrows and, we use na charros in our areas just with the rocks and it does really well.

And, I think that's a piece of equipment that everybody should own. I have a nice set for my tractor and I use 'em for some similar purposes, like you're identifying here. So I think it's a good piece of equipment to have. I just not a lot of people talk about disking anymore, and I think that's a part of the landscape changes.

Yeah. I,

Mark Haslam: Absolutely. And then just one last piece about, about a hair, sorry to interrupt, fire, a lot of people can't use fire because they have a hu they have a lease and maybe a timber company owns it and they don't want it, or whatever reason will disk then, if you can't burn, go in there with a tractor and try to maybe cut.

If you have some sapling trees in the way, cut 'em down. But if you can start the [00:31:00] disc, you're gonna start. Turn over the seed bank and yeah, it might not be as pretty as burning. You might saw some, might still have some from some pine straw mixed in, but you're disturbing the ground and as it's just, it comes down to ground disturbance

Jon Teater: and sunlight.

No, I think that's good and I think a lot of people miss that. So I think that's a good. Good thing. This is totally unrelated. I don't even know why I'm bringing this up, when I was in North Carolina, the pine straw used for mulch around trees. I was like baffled by that. That we have mulch, right?

We use bark mulch here and It was just, I was just I said to my buddy, I said, this is just a different world and you could see the flammability, et cetera. You're bringing up some things that were interesting to me personally, I didn't realize that was a whole, there was a whole market with the the straw.

Oh, yeah,

Mark Haslam: absolutely. People, yeah, people can generate income from that. Not to get into it. The major drawback, if anyone's listening, is that to. To get a pine straw lease with the company [00:32:00] or if you were gonna do it, you just like what, you're probably already thinking you gotta kill everything but the pine tree.

Yeah. So you're not having any kind of early successional growth and is not really great for wildlife.

Jon Teater: Yeah. No, that's a good, that's a good point. So they're dedicated for a purpose and that purpose is capitalism. Yes. Yeah. Understood. Just a nuance and a difference, and I'm, there's probably so many things, if we talk about little in, in idiosyncrasies of the two differences is There's a lot that adds up to how you manage in the strategy.

Like you must laugh at times. I'm like, oh I'm actually cutting timber this evening. And you're probably like, what? What are you doing? And I'm like, no I'm cutting trees tonight. Like I'm actually putting in a bedding area to tonight after this this phone call that I have with you.

And not when it's dark out. Everybody. I'm cutting during the, the sunlight still. I think we all have our different. Little nuances in how we approach things. And it's really interesting to hear some of the examples of stuff that, you work on specifically.

And somebody's 50 acres, but 50 acres [00:33:00] again, of your particular area is not a lot considering the size of your property. It's a couple percent, two, 3%. And I'm sure they're, somewhat spread out across the landscape. I think the other question for you, and I have a buddy that actually follows you.

Pretty significantly loves your information, and I do as well. He's wondering what your next target deer is, because he's got a feeling. You've got a, you've got a deer on horizons. You're going after. We hadn't talked about this pre-show, but do you have anything specifically you're targeting this year?

Because we know how successful you were last year. I think people wonder what's going on with you.

Mark Haslam: Yeah, there were a couple that got away last year. There were two Nice. There was two nice box that were probably around four or five and they were running together early season and had some people come in to hunt with me with our season opener in August.

And this guy was Bo hunting [00:34:00] and so he watched both of 'em, I think an hour after first light just mo. Taking their sweet time, going back to betting from the act, and he watched 'em like a 75 yards and got some good videos of 'em and they, so those I think, are still there. I, I've really, I've got cameras out and I've got more than I need to put back out, but I really got slack on my camera game.

Not by de not by any decision. I've just. I've gotten where I just if I'm up there, I'd rather be doing something. Like work than actually, cause hey if anyone has more than five cameras, even if you're not checking every time, it's just a lot of work. Yeah. I also, how also pull back a little bit.

The past couple years of just obsessing every cameras and then box, because I went through a couple seasons where it just really, it either happens or it doesn't with a particular buck. And [00:35:00] if it doesn't it can, at least for me, it can just, it's just mentally exhausting. Yeah. Because you think it's you're really, and so I, I found myself really not having.

As much fun in the situation. So I started to pull back from, trying to target one buck and going heavy on the cameras, but then just putting myself in the positions of where, if you're working the land or you hunt a general area long enough you're gonna know where they're gonna be.

Yeah, you know where they're gonna be relatively speaking. But I guess to answer that question, the long way, rambling here is that I would again like to get one early season preferably in the morning. I like that challenge of trying to get a velvet block in the morning as opposed to, Trying to catch one in the evening on an ag field.

And so going back to the food plots that we should have around 50 acres, but then that's also, I, that's also [00:36:00] based on our ag fields, which we have about 300 acres of ag, yep. That plays in, that's, those are essentially warm season food plots. But There's a buck that has owned me for two years down the swamp.

And I'm hoping to catch you up too on the, this year. I just I've gotta get a game plan, John, as far as when I'm gonna do it. Yeah. Because I, it's like I know. I know what he's gonna be doing early season and then it's like during the rut he hangs around the property, but during the rut they're just I feel like I need to get after him early.

Cuz sometimes during our rut with as many doughs and as many deers we have it's just it's really hard to get on a specific box.

Jon Teater: Yeah. Yep. Do you feel like your strategy at this point you're gonna develop a strategy, I'm assuming, over probably the next month or so to try to [00:37:00] attack this deer?

I wanna, I want to talk about that on another podcast because I know how deliberate you are and I want to see, based on your plan, how you're gonna put the pieces together. And whether you get the deer or not it doesn't matter. It's the challenge that really counts here. We, you've already been successful.

There's no question of needing to improve that. Again, it's just, what would be the specifics in that equation? And what I any of our people that, that are on this, land managers hunt the hunting tactics people is recognizing that, there's trial and error in all this, whether you use trail cameras or not you use cell cameras and that huge debate going on about that I, I'm so far removed from that debate and I know it's critical to those states where it's coming under question.

I'm not saying that, where it's legal, be legal about it. But a lot of this stuff, like we talked earlier, a lot of it's just observation. It's, what the deer are gonna do based upon history and having those very [00:38:00] consistent practices on your landscape. Yes, it varies a little bit, but it plays in your hand.

More times than not, it's this other piece where it's yeah, I got that. It's, I'm gonna go in, I'm gonna make a move on something that may be a little bit off limits, hard to hunt deer maybe limited movement. Little more strategic, like the pieces of that to me are just as meaningful. I don't think we necessarily need the volume of trail cameras or the volume of data to make these strategic decisions.

However, in that example, you may take those five cameras that you have and focus in. And this particular is Deere's habits potentially just to get some data or in Intel to make some key decisions. So I'm interested to see how that game plays out with you specifically, cuz I, I find that very interesting.

And then off record last year with Steve Shirk, who's been on this podcast a bunch is, him and I were going back and forth on a couple deer that he was working on and it was interested to see how he was trying to break down, every little bit of it and. The cameras [00:39:00] only tell you so much, and to rely on those is your primary means of information.

You're really selling yourself short. But any bit of data is sometimes helpful, when you have a Deere that's that difficult. So I'm interested in hearing about maybe the journey with that Deere, whether it, works out or not for you. I think it's quite interesting.

Appreciate you sharing that by the way. Absolutely. Yeah. We're getting towards the end. We went way over our time. I only told you half an hour today. Sorry. We had chat chatty today. What, anything else you want to end with? I thought you added a lot in here and there's a lot to listen to, but people please go back and listen to some of the elements.

This, I think it's very informational some very specific practices in here. Anything else you want to add on to the end of this?

Mark Haslam: Yeah just maybe one, one last thing is good that, a as we as we're, we are moving in the summertime folks, and like I was saying earlier, now is getting, crunch time at least in the south with seasons not that far away.

One other, one other, one other thing to consider, to think about what you can do from [00:40:00] anywhere. You can do it on vacation with your family at the beach. You can do it at your house on a rainy day. Is the. Is to really dive into your dear herd and what you have been killing, what you haven't seeing. Is there anything you want to, would like to change in your dear herd?

And then try to have a plan as far as what your goals are. As far as bucks and GOs being shot and, a lot of everyone doesn't keep records or maybe they don't, maybe they bring their deer to a processor and they don't have that data, but, maybe you talk your neighbors or just go back on trail cameras, like what you said.

It's an amazing tool. And if you don't have that kind of intel, maybe you go out right now, so you can start the process and you know where it's legal. Maybe, have a bait site minerals or a corn pile just to see how many deer you pull in and then rotate. Cuz you might find that you got a ton of dose or you might find you [00:41:00] don't have many those in certain areas.

But that can help gauge where you need to be. And then lastly I would add is that do not be afraid. To maybe push, go a little bit further in your dough harvest, and I'm talking about people they might be listening in in, in some density areas that are north of 50 deer per square mile.

Especially north of that, don't be afraid to go a little bit further than maybe he had before deer, or to say that whitetails are resilient. Is a gross understatement as far as how, they're, they in coyotes are probably the ultimate survivors. Just the longevity in what they have survived through.

We're not gonna over hunt deer in a lot of places, especially the southeast. And where I strongly believe and where our records and data indicates is that when we started to push the numbers, As far as dough harvest, going back [00:42:00] five, eight years, we saw a significant jump in bucks observed by our own two eyes on the stand and then bucks in skinning shed.

Killed and tagged these same bucks were on trail cameras and that's why, another reason why I've drifted off from going heavy. Me personally, just because we got caught up and there's this buck and that buck and this buck, and then you start to hunt 'em year round when realistically you might not re really be getting a chance on a five year old buck in September.

You might need to wait for other conditions. But we were doing that and we were losing sight of the dough harvest. And when you don't monitor and regulate that you're not gonna see the box. They're gonna, they're gonna be there. They're not gonna leave, but you're not gonna see 'em. I, that, that's something where just, you know, I, cuz years ago I was just definitely afraid, John, that we were gonna shoot too many dos like, What if we just shoot too many and then a foreign recruitment goes down.

It's not the case, especially when you know your neighborhood. I'm not [00:43:00] saying you've gotta take your, all your neighbors, all your neighboring hunters to dinner, but just at least have a general idea about how they hunt. Because I've got neighbors that don't shoot dough. I've got one neighbor that has access next to us, 800 acres, and he does not shoot, do.

They'll shoot a couple bucks a year, barely. And that's it. So like we're playing cleanup for them. That's kinda what I'm talking about. And if everyone's hunting around you and killing dose that's awesome. So maybe, but if that's not the case, then maybe focus on that.

Because for us, our, my objective was, I was tired. Of getting all these bucks on CR, on camera and then never seeing 'em and never killing 'em. And we're growing 'em year after year and they're growing and dying and we're not killing 'em. So what can change, and that's what we've been concentrating hard on, is just the dough reg, the

Jon Teater: numbers.

Great. Great advice and advice that I think we may have [00:44:00] touched on before, and I think that's, Really something important and consider right now when you're looking at that recruitment, Number and the deer that you have immigrating on your property and the deer that are surviving these kind of early periods after Fawn drop, your numbers will be at an all-time high here coming up.

And it's important to think about those numbers throughout this hunting season. So I think that's a great way to end this. We're almost at hunting season really, when you start to think about it. We're doing a lot of preparatory work. It's gonna be here before you know it. And I'm clearly not prepared and you just scared me a little bit in, in my thinking, so I gotta get myself moving, so hopefully everybody else is doing the same.

Make sure you follow Mark, Southeast Whitetail. Great content. He obviously has a podcast as well. He's been on this multiple times. I appreciate his perspective on things and it's great to talk to you again, mark. It's been a bit so I appreciate it.

Mark Haslam: Absolutely. John, thank you for having me on it.

It's [00:45:00] always a treat.

Jon Teater: Yep. Sounds good. We'll talk soon. See ya. Okay.

Mark Haslam: Thank you. Bye. Maximize Your Hunt is a production of whitetail landscapes. For more information on how John Teeter and his team of experts can help you maximize your hunt, check out whitetail